As of April 20, Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma (DLO) has tested 8,268 patients for COVID-19 through a combination of in-house lab testing and through Quest Diagnostics, a joint venture partner for DLO. In addition to the molecular PCR swab testing for those with symptoms of an active infection, DLO is now offering a COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody serology test which can identify individuals who have developed a serological response.
DLO began offering COVID-19 PCR testing through Quest Diagnostics on March 9 to support the pandemic, and then began in-house PCR testing on March 28 in two of its Oklahoma City laboratories. DLO’s in-house PCR testing attention is on Priority 1 and Priority 2 testing as recommended by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). All other PCR testing done by DLO is completed through a Quest Diagnostics lab.
"Our lab staff worked tirelessly to go through the processes needed to bring critical COVID-19 testing to our Oklahoma-based labs in record time,” said DLO CEO Dennis Hogle. “By concentrating on at-risk hospital patients and healthcare workers with COVID-19 symptoms, DLO can accelerate the results and give providers the opportunity to quickly create a plan of action for treatment. With the addition of IgG serology testing, DLO can now provide added focus on identifying Oklahomans who have been exposed and recovered from COVID-19.”
DLO continues to work with hospital leadership across the state to offer access to these vital tests to maintain the integrity of Oklahoma’s healthcare systems. To further expand testing, DLO is working to add immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody testing soon.
“As an Oklahoma-based company, DLO’s focus is to provide innovative, timely and quality laboratory services to the citizens of our state,” said Hogle. “DLO will continue our efforts to expand our COVID-19 testing through IgM antibody tests in the near future, but we are pleased to be able to provide critical Priority 1, Priority 2 and IgG antibody testing to Oklahoma.”
DLO has 45 patient service centers throughout Oklahoma and provides clinical laboratory testing for all 77 counties in Oklahoma. Hogle said it’s important the public use their healthcare providers for COVID-19 PCR swab specimen collections, but the IgG serology test is a routine blood collection and can be drawn at a DLO location with a provider’s order.
“Our patient service centers do an excellent job of collecting specimens for blood and urine testing, so we are able to collect samples for the IgG serology tests at our locations throughout Oklahoma,” said Hogle. “However, the COVID-19 PCR swab test is for symptomatic patients and is to be performed only using respiratory specimens collected by a healthcare provider from individuals who meet CDC clinical and/or epidemiological criteria for COVID-19 testing. Our DLO Patient Service Centers do not collect COVID-19 PCR swab specimens for symptomatic patients suspected of having an active COVID-19 infection.”
DLO has also instituted additional precautions for patients who use their facilities for routine lab testing.
“DLO wants to do all we can to protect our patients and employees from exposure to any illness,” said Hogle. “We have implemented additional steps to make our patient service centers safer including limiting the number of chairs in the waiting areas to maintain social distancing and taking patients back to draw rooms to wait until we can collect their specimen. We are also asking all patients to wear masks when visiting DLO, and unless you need a caregiver, we ask that only patients enter the PSC. We also encourage our patients to schedule an appointment through our website to help further reduce any wait time.”
For more information on DLO’s response to COVID-19, visit dlolab.com/covid-19.
Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma (DLO) began offering COVID-19 testing in Oklahoma on March 9 through Quest Diagnostics. As a joint venture of Quest Diagnostics and INTEGRIS Health, DLO is utilizing Quest’s laboratories in Dallas, Texas and San Juan Capistrano, Calif. DLO is now in the process of expanding its efforts by bringing up its own COVID-19 testing at its central laboratory in Oklahoma City to deliver more testing capacity to the state of Oklahoma.
“DLO employs 700 of the finest employees in Oklahoma and they are all working hard and are involved in taking the necessary measure to keep DLO safe and healthy, so we can continue to provide vital laboratory testing services to all parts of Oklahoma,” said DLO CEO Dennis Hogle.
Last week, DLO and the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) announced a public-private partnership to send some OSDH tests to DLO for processing to meet the high demand. Nearly 500 test specimens were shipped to Quest’s Dallas lab on the first day of the partnership and additional tests are being sent daily.
“As an Oklahoma-based company, DLO is pleased to partner with OSDH to serve Oklahomans during this crisis,” said Hogle. “As DLO and Quest continue expanding our COVID-19 testing efforts, we are in a position to provide quality lab tests and improve the turnaround time for results.”
While DLO has 45 patient service centers throughout Oklahoma and provides clinical laboratory testing for all 77 counties in Oklahoma, Hogle said it’s important the public use their healthcare providers for COVID-19 specimen collections.
“Our patient service centers do an excellent job of collecting specimens for testing,” said Hogle. “However, this test is to be performed only using respiratory specimens collected from individuals who meet CDC clinical and/or epidemiological criteria for COVID-19 testing, and only a healthcare provider can collect the specimen necessary to test for COVID-19. Our DLO Patient Service Centers do not collect COVID-19 specimens and patients suspected of having COVID-19 must not enter a DLO Patient Service Center.”
For more information on DLO’s response to COVID-19, visit dlolab.com/covid-19.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) today announced it has entered into a new public-private partnership with Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma (DLO) to increase the State of Oklahoma’s capacity for delivering results for COVID-19 tests. As a result of the new partnership, more than 300 test specimens were immediately shipped yesterday to DLO’s facility in Dallas, Texas, for results within the next couple days.
“The Oklahoma State Department of Health appreciates the strengthened partnership with DLO to send COVID-19 test kits to its facilities in Dallas for rapid results,” said Commissioner of Health Gary Cox. “The state is committed to expanding testing and result capacity by building out more public-private partnerships here at home and across the United States. Thanks to action taken at the federal level, we are expecting more supplies to come online in the coming days to support our efforts."
The state’s partnership with DLO will allow current demand for COVID-19 test results to be met within a two- to three-day time frame. The Public Health Laboratory will continue to prioritize its limited in-house supply for delivering results within 24-hours for Oklahoma’s most vulnerable populations. Vulnerable populations are identified as follows:
- Where a cluster of individuals are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, such as a nursing home
- Individuals who are age 60 or older
- Children or adults who have compromised immune systems
“As this new public-private lab partnership expands Oklahoma’s capacity to deliver timely results, it will allow the OSDH, county health departments, hospitals, health care providers and others begin pursuing innovative options for increasing access to COVID-19 testing,” Cox said.
For more information about COVID-19, visit coronavirus.health.ok.gov.
As a joint venture of Quest Diagnostics, Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma (DLO) can provide testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) through Quest. Patients should be prioritized for testing of COVID-19 if they meet the CDC criteria, including those who may have been exposed to the virus or had contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19, who show signs and symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, difficulty breathing), or who live in or recently traveled to a place where transmission of COVID-19 is prevalent. Due to the high demand nationwide for this test, you might experience a delay in turnaround times for results. Please be aware that specimens tested by DLO must be collected by a doctor or nurse in a clinical setting as DLO will not be collecting specimens at our patient service centers, contracted draw sites, or by our in-office phlebotomists. For more information on the new testing service, please read the following press release from Quest Diagnostics.
SECAUCUS, N.J., March 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world's leading provider of diagnostic information services, today announced it will launch a coronavirus (COVID-19) test service. The new test service aids the presumptive detection of nucleic acid in respiratory specimens of patients meeting CDC's clinical criteria for COVID-19 testing.
Quest will be in position to receive specimens for testing, and begin to provide testing on Monday, March 9, 2020. With the new service, Quest Diagnostics will provide access to a COVID-19 test service for patients in the United States.
The new test service will be provided as a laboratory developed test, pending review by the FDA under emergency use authorization (EUA) which the company will submit per FDA guidance within 15 days of clinical testing. The test is a molecular based assay which detects viral RNA in respiratory specimens.
"In times of national health crises, quality laboratory testing is absolutely critical to mobilizing effective public health response," said Steve Rusckowski Chairman, CEO and President, Quest Diagnostics. "Quest's national scale, diagnostic expertise and innovation, and relationships with half the country's physicians and health systems is a vital complement to the efforts of the CDC and other public health labs to contend with a growing number of suspected COVID-19 cases in the United States. We applaud the FDA for providing the flexibility for innovative, quality lab developed tests to be brought to patients and providers quickly to advance effective response to the coronavirus outbreak."
The new service is expected to employ respiratory specimens collected in appropriate health care settings, such as hospitals and physician offices. Quest Diagnostics patient service centers and phlebotomy sites do not collect respiratory specimens on suspected COVID-19 cases. Patients suspected of, or confirmed to have, COVID-19 should consult with a physician regarding the best way to provide a specimen for testing by Quest.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 (formally known as 2019-nCoV) is the name for the respiratory syndrome caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
Quest Diagnostics is a leader in infectious disease testing services, with a broad menu of molecular, antibody, and other test services to aid diagnosis, treatment and monitoring.
For more information about the company's response to COVID-19, visit www.questdiagnostics.com/home/Coronavirus/
About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world's largest database of clinical lab results, our diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors and improve health care management. Quest Diagnostics annually serves one in three adult Americans and half the physicians and hospitals in the United States, and our 47,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and with the right context, our diagnostic insights can inspire actions that transform lives.
Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma (DLO), as a joint venture of Quest Diagnostics, is pleased to let you know that the following UnitedHealthcare Newsroom announcement was published on April 22, 2019.
UnitedHealthcare’s Triple Aim Focus Adding More Value for Lab Services
April 22, 2019
More affordable procedure costs, shorter wait times, higher quality – everyone wants these things from their health care experience. UnitedHealthcare’s Triple Aim focus – improving health care affordability, outcomes and the patient experience – is now adding more value for lab services.
Consider this. Laboratory services are often the starting point to any medical procedure. During a doctor’s visit, a physician will recommend lab work about 50 percent of the time. These tests might include blood work like a complete blood count (CBC) or a thyroid panel. It may also include biopsy results or a genetic test which also happen in a lab. When a physician orders these tests, labs are often chosen based on habit or historical practice and the physician may not realize there could be a more affordable, higher quality option to offer to their patients.
UnitedHealthcare is working to make it easier to identify and choose lab providers who have committed to the Triple Aim within its broad network of more than 300 labs nationwide. Through the newly established Preferred Laboratory Network (PLN), physicians and their patients are likely to receive better health care value through improved access, quality and service at a lower cost. The creation of the PLN is an advanced way to work with selected lab providers to deliver care that places a greater emphasis on patient outcomes and the total cost of a person’s care.
Launching on July 1, 2019, UnitedHealthcare has selected the following labs to participate in its PLN: AmeriPath/DermPath, BioReference, GeneDx, Invitae, LabCorp, Mayo Clinic Laboratories and Quest Diagnostics. These labs were selected based on a rigorous quality review process.
How it impacts UnitedHealthcare consumers:
There is no change in lab access for consumers – consumers can still use a lab that is not in the PLN. However, choosing a lab in the PLN may lead to shorter wait times for services, online scheduling for patient service centers, higher quality of care and lower cost.
Services accessed through the PLN are at a lower average cost than other lab providers. For example, pathology services for a biopsy in the PLN would cost about $90. Consumers could still choose a lab not in the PLN, but the cost would increase to about $150. An out-of-network lab would cost more.
How it impacts physicians:
We expect physicians who refer to labs in the PLN to notice prompt turn-around times for lab results, ease-of-use when ordering labs electronically as well as easy access to physician-to-lab medical director consultations to support patient care. They will not need to do anything different to access services from these providers. Those participating in the PLN will be designated in UnitedHealthcare’s provider directories.
All of the participants in the PLN will be measured quarterly on their performance to ensure our doctors and patients receive the best care at the lowest cost.
Visit https://newsroom.uhc.com/experience/preferred-lab-network.html to view this release on the UnitedHealthcare website.